What If Euro Disneyland Was a Success?

Disney Adventurer

What If Disneyland Paris Was A Success

The failure of Euro Disneyland was a defining moment in Disney Parks history, and it completely changed the course of Disney Parks worldwide. But what if that didn't happen? What if instead Euro Disneyland (now known as Disneyland Paris) met expectations and was considered a success.

We are going to imagine this world and how it would have completely changed different Disney Parks projects for the next decade, as well as the Disney company as a whole, and even some Universal projects. For this, we are just imagining that the park was an average level success, not a massive success.

This speculation is going to be for what would happen between the opening of Disneyland Paris and the events of 9/11, as no matter what, this probably would have stopped new development entirely.

Disney Decade

Roger Rabbit Disneyland Never Built Ride Concept Art

The most immediate impact of the success of the Disney Decade would be that the projects of the Disney Decade would not be canceled.

Then Disney CEO Michael Eisner had planned on a massive expansion of all existing Disney Parks in the United States as well as two new Disney theme parks to be built in the 1990s, all of which was either canceled or scaled back due to this one failure.

Davy Crockett Explorer Canoe in Rivers of America Disneyland

This would radically change the entire course of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World history.

First, Disneyland would have gotten a new land in between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. This was set to be called Hollywoodland and feature attractions from both Disney's Hollywood Studios as well as original attractions based on Roger Rabbit and Dick Tracey.

Echo Lake Gertie The Dinosaur Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

The Dick Tracey ride probably wouldn't have happened regardless, but a more elaborate Roger Rabbit ride probably would have been built alongside west coast versions of attractions like the Great Movie Ride. While exact plans for this land were never set, it may have looked like a smaller version of Echo Lake with different attractions.

Because of this, Mickey's Toontown probably never gets built as there is no reason to build it if a Roger Rabbit ride gets built elsewhere. Related to this, Motor Boat Cruise may actually survive in this world, as it closed to make room in the budget for Toontown. Although maybe it closes for Hollywoodland instead.

Tomorrowland would have probably gotten a much more extensive reimagining in this timeline, specifically in that the Tomorrowland 2055 project would have happened. This would have brought Rocket Rods, Placu's Intergalactic Revue (a new carousel theater show), and Alien Encounter to the park. While these may not have been definite successes, it was a more defined vision than what ended up happening.

Main Street Electrical Parade Casey Jr. Float Disneyland

As a part of this project, Main Street Electrical Parade would have been replaced with a different parade, Lightkeeepers based on Tomorrowland as opposed to Light Magic.

California Screamin Loop Paradise Pier Disney California Adventure Disneyland

Also, the most significant change is that Disney California Adventure does not happen in this version of events. If Hollywoodland gets built at the beginning of the decade, it makes a California themed park a lot less appealing, and combined with better financial results from Euro Disneyland, there is a decent chance Westcot ends up happening.

Westcot was primarily canceled due to the failure of Disneyland Paris, and if it was a success this probably actually gets built. This would change not only the history of Disneyland, but the original Epcot as well.

Dreamfinder and Figment Character in Rainbow Tunnel Epcot Walt Disney World
Copyright Disney

If Westcot gets built with the modernized versions of classic attractions of Journey Into Imagination, World of Motion, The Living Seas, Horizons, and more, there is a decent chance they survive in some form in the original Epcot as well, getting the upgrades from their Disneyland versions instead of being replaced entirely.

This could also change the history of World Showcase in Epcot as well. Westcot was supposed to feature several original attractions and new countries that could easily be copied over to the original park. From an Africa section to a more elaborate China and Canada, there are many elements that could have come to Walt Disney World from this park.

Staying in Walt Disney World, Disney's Animal Kingdom would have still happened, but it could have been more ambitious than the park we ended up getting. Maybe we got Beastly Kingdom as part of phase one. Maybe Dinoland was a little more elaborate, potentially with the Excavator coaster.

If Beastly Kingdom got built, this would mean Festival of the Lion King never came to be and Legend of The Lion King might still exist today in the Magic Kingdom.

Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin Entrance Mickey's Toontown Disneyland

Disney's Hollywood Studios would look very different today than it does now. A Roger Rabbit land might actually end up getting built, preventing Rock N Roller Coaster from becoming a reality.

One Disney Decade project for this park, the Muppets land probably would never get built due to the death of Jim Henson, but rather than the area planned for this section remaining underbuilt for decades in might actually get something put in place of the never-built attractions.

Future of Disneyland Paris

The future of Disneyland Paris would obviously have been massively impacted by the early success of the resort. Several expansion plans were developed for the resort that never came to be, including attractions based on Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Maybe an Indiana Jones Adventure attraction would even have come to be in this time period.

The most significant impact probably would have been a much more elaborate second gate, likely benefiting from the increased investment that went into Disney MGM Studios and Hollywoodland in Disneyland.

Disneyland Paris would have been a very different place today if the early days had been more successful.

Disney's America

One of the few major projects to survive the early downfall of Euro Disneyland was Disney's America, but it ended up being canceled due to public backlash. If Disney had more of a solid parks department then maybe they would have fought harder for this project. In acuality it was just one in a series of failures as the parks struggled to reimagine themselves after such a huge failure that they hadn't seen before.

A European Universal Studios

Disaster A Major Motion Picture Ride Entrance Universal Studios Florida

In the 1990s Universal was looking at building a version of their studios theme park in Europe, and it was canceled around the time of Euro Disneyland's failure. Maybe if there had been better results from Disneyland Paris, Universal would have pushed a bit harder to get a European Universal Studios built.

Universal Studios Hollywood Globe Daytime

The plans for a Universal on the continent would have been the most elaboratly themed park outside of Disneyland, and one of the most expensive as well. While it might still have to be canceled due to unrelated circumstances, it would stand a fighting chance of happening if Euro Disneyland had done better in its early years.